England Is Mine

England Is Mine
Genre : Fiction
Published : 11 Apr 2024 - Serpent's Tail
David hates school, where he has been bullied, and has reached sixth form without any friends. Music is the only thing that keeps him going. Inspired by his hero, Karl Williams, he becomes vegan, wears eyeliner and writes song lyrics. But one night onstage Karl Williams accuses Muslims of homophobia and is cancelled. Conflicted by his feelings for his favourite artist and compelled by the conversations he has while playing Call of Duty, David becomes more and more fascinated by the far right's narratives of masculinity in conflict with liberal society.

Living in the same East London borough as David, Hassan has his own problems. He is drifting apart from his childhood friends, Mo and Ibrahim, who drink, blaze skunk and mock him for hanging out at the Muslim youth centre, where he is older than everyone else. Determined to make something of himself, he volunteers for his local mosque and works hard to try to get the grades he needs to go to university.

As these second-generation immigrants struggle for a sense of identity and belonging - amid a wave of online radicalisation and extremism - their fates become inextricably, catastrophically entwined.

Reviews

A politically engaged, urgently plotted coming-of-age thriller with a wicked satirical streak.

The Observer, Meet the 10 Best New Novelists for 2024

A brilliant dissection of race, identity, masculinity and extremism. Skilfully plotted and wholly convincing in its evocation of alienation, and the sub-culture that leads to the inevitable, heartbreaking, ending.

Monica Ali, author of BRICK LANE

A sharp, visceral, courageous and thoroughly original piece of fiction. I've never read anything like it.

Jyoti Patel, author of THE THINGS THAT WE LOST

An utterly engrossing first novel. Its depiction of radicalisation as a desperate cry for belonging is simultaneously shocking and heart-breaking. A devastating portrait of contemporary London by a major new talent.

Vesna Goldsworthy

ENGLAND IS MINE moves with verve and heart through territory too often neglected by the contemporary novel. As the precision-tooled plot hurtles towards disaster, Nicolas Padamsee guides us through the troubled hinterlands of wounded masculinity, gamer culture and the alt-right with thrilling pace and economy.

Matthew Sperling

Gripping, intelligent, streetwise and absolutely contemporary, ENGLAND IS MINE is a stunning first novel. It's a piercing depiction of online radicalisation that I sped through with appalled delight. Hard to think how it could be any more timely.

Toby Litt

Nicholas Padamsee’s debut novel is a frightening journey into online radicalisation.

Hero Magazine

Nicolas Padamsee is a truly thrilling and innovative writer. His portrayal of radicalisation, of the strangeness and loneliness of a life lived on the internet, is subtle, entirely believable, fresh and compelling. He tackles themes such as racism and misogyny in a manner which is morally nuanced but never moralising. ENGLAND IS MINE is a brilliant, original book.

Rachel Connolly

This is one hell of a debut novel.

Buzzmag

I was gripped by this original story about online radicalisation, wounded masculinity, disaffected youth and a desperate search for identity… Brilliant.

Daily Mail

Deeply astute and devastating in its commentary on immigrant communities, England Is Mine joins a new generation of politically charged novels – including Megha Majumdar’s A Burning and Priya Guns’s Your Driver Is Waiting – in exposing the power and pitfalls of online platforms.

The Guardian

Padamsee tempers his depiction of radicalisation taking hold in a novel that is meticulously and sensitively paced.

The Observer

Padamsee's handling of this enduring theme, more than his novel's topicality, is what marks it out as a debut of subtle intelligence and artistry.

Financial Times

Padamsee elegantly pinpoint(s) how people are dehumanised in modern England—first by other people and then by themselves.

Prospect

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